On March 28, 2020, the U.S. Department of Labor (DOL) released additional guidance on the changes to paid sick and family and medical leave benefits for employers with under 500 employees in H.R. 6201, the Families First Coronavirus Response Act (FFCRA). The latest update includes a series of questions and answers on the law, and the DOL’s Wage and Hour Division has a COVID-19 website with other critical pieces of information for workplaces.
Generally, covered employers must now provide:
- Two weeks of paid sick leave at the employee’s regular rate, where the employee is unable to work because the employee is quarantined and/or experiencing COVID-19 symptoms and seeking a medical diagnosis; or
- Two weeks of paid sick leave at two-thirds the employee’s regular rate, because the employee is unable to work as they are caring for an individual subject to quarantine, or caring for a child whose school or child care provider is closed or unavailable for reasons related to COVID-19.
- For employees has been employed for at least 30 days, up to an additional ten weeks of paid expanded family and medical leave at two-thirds the employee’s regular rate where an employee is unable to work due to a need for leave to care for a child whose school or child care provider is closed or unavailable for reasons related to COVID-19.
The DOL will not begin enforcement of the FFCRA until April 18, 2020.
Additionally, the U.S. Treasury Department, Internal Revenue Service (IRS), and the DOL released a memo on March 20, 2020, outlining how the costs for COVID-19 related paid leave under the FFCRA will be 100% reimbursable through a refundable tax credit.